Derek Prince - Have You Gone On The Be Led By The Spirit?
This excerpt is from: The Holy Spirit As Guide
In the last message I spoke about five ministries of the Holy Spirit in which He continues the ministry of Jesus in our lives. I spoke about Him as teacher, remembrancer, guide, revelator and administrator. Now I want to focus on that particular ministry of the Holy Spirit as guide. I’ll turn back to John 16:13 again. However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth. So there’s the clear statement the Holy Spirit comes to be our guide. And then in Romans chapter 8 verse 14 Paul speaks about how we can be fulfilled and complete Christians. Romans 8:14, a very important verse. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The tense there is the continuing present tense.
As many as are regularly led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The word son there speaks of maturity. It’s not the word for a little baby but the word for a grown up son. In order to become God’s children, we have to be born again of the Spirit of God. Jesus spoke about that very clearly in John 3. But once we’ve been born again, in order to grow up and become mature and complete, we need to be regularly led by the Holy Spirit. Now, the sad truth is that many Christians who’ve been born again, have never really gone on to be led by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, they don’t achieve maturity, They don’t become the kind of complete follow up Christian that God intends. So, I’m going to try to deal with this theme of being led by the Holy Spirit.
There are two alternative ways revealed in the Bible to achieve righteousness with God. They’re extremely important and they’re a major theme of the New Testament. But according to my observation, very little attention is paid to this particular question. The two ways by which we may seek to achieve righteousness with God are either law or grace. And the Bible reveals very clearly that they’re mutually exclusive. If you seek to achieve righteousness by law, you cannot achieve righteousness by grace. On the other hand, if you seek to achieve righteousness by grace, then you can’t do it by keeping law. This is tremendously important because again, I may be just speaking about a limited area of the Christian church that I’m familiar with, But I see most Christians trying to mix law and grace. Partly by law, partly by grace. The truth of the matter is they don’t really understand either.
Now I think we all know basically what law is. Law is a set of rules which you have to keep. And if you keep all the rules all the time, then you’re made righteous. That is righteousness. Grace, on the other hand, is something that we cannot earn and we cannot achieve by working for it. If you are working for anything or seeking to earn it, it is not grace. Grace cannot be earned. Grace is received from God only by one way. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8 says this: For by grace you have been saved through faith. That’s right. Grace comes only through faith. And if you want to achieve righteousness, If you want to come into the maturity of God, You’ve got to decide are you going to do it by law, or by grace. And if you follow my advice and the advice of the Bible, you won’t try to do it by law. Because the Bible says no one will ever achieve righteousness with God by keeping law.
Let’s look at some of the requirements of law. The basic principle you’ve got to understand is this. To be righteous by keeping law, you've got to keep the whole law all the time I's not enough to keep the whole law some of the time and it's not enough to keep some of the law all the time. but you have to keep the whole law all the time or else You are not righteous by keeping the law. We’ll look at a few passages of scripture. Deuteronomy chapter 27 verse 26 This is the last verse of the chapter. and it’s the end of a list of twelve curses which Israel were required to pronounce upon themselves After they came into the land of promise If they failed to keep the whole law all the time.
And this is what this particular curse says. Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law. Cursed is the one who does not abide by and keep all the words of this law. In other words, if you start to keep the law and then you deviate from it, you come under a curse. And Paul resumes this theme in the New Testament in the epistle to the Galatians, chapter 3. He says and he quotes this verse, The one we’ve quoted from Deuteronomy. Chapter 3 verse 10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; For it is written [and now he’s quoting the verse we’ve looked at but he amplifies it a little bit] Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
So if you want to receive the blessing and avoid the curse you have to continue in all things all the time to do them. Otherwise the law is of no benefit to you from the point of view of righteousness. And then in the epistle of James, chapter 2 verse 10–11, James is speaking about the same question. He says for who ever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble [or fail] in one point, he is guilty of all; For the one who said do not commit adultery also said do not murder.
Now, if you do not commit adultery but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. You cannot single out the commandments which you think are important and say: I’ll keep those and the others I won’t. You’ve got to keep every commandment all the time or the law is of no benefit to you as a means of achieving righteousness. See, my experience is most people think it will be all right if they keep most of the law some of the time. In fact, the natural mind of man can only think of one way of achieving righteousness, which is keeping a law. When I was a soldier in the British Army and had become a Christian I used to witness to my fellow soldiers who were not Christians and talk about being saved and so on.
And I noticed almost invariably Every one of them responded in something like this. He would come up with a little list of the rules he kept. Each one had his own set of rules. And he was trying to convince me that he was all right because he kept some rules. Each one made a list of the rules he kept and omitted the rules he didn’t keep. I don’t commit adultery, I don’t get drunk, I don’t, there were not many I don’ts, really, in the British Army but they would seek out a few. They would kind of hold this up as if this was all right, that justified them. There were other things they were doing but that wasn’t important.